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GOAL 2019 blog: Bangladesh invests in black tiger shrimp, as world vannamei production climbs

This year the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) is hosting its annual GOAL conference in Chennai, India. IntraFish Reporter Demi Korban is on the ground, bringing you the latest news, views and insight from the event. Keep checking back!

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Wednesday, Oct. 23, 4:30 pm IST

The team is the seed for market sizing

The accelerator program Hatch usually looks at a team behind an innovation or startup to assess whether it could work and scale across different countries, Dealflow Manager India Boyer said.

The accelerator passes on deals if the market is too small to bring back a return on investment, if the unique selling proposition is not truly unique, of if the founders have a very small cap in the company.

"This often makes them think more about their own salary instead of the value of the company," Boyer said.

-- Demi Korban

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Wednesday, Oct. 23, 4:00 pm IST

The Reverse Pitch - a dim room with lots of investors

It is usually startups pitching ideas to investors as a way to attract funding for their innovations, but this session was different.

For two hours, venture capital groups and accelerators, including Hatch, Aqua-Spark, Omnivore and The Yield Lab, pitched to entrepreneurs as to why they choose them as investors.

A bunch of reasons come to mind for using this reverse-pitch style, including spending more time with co-investors, giving back to all the times investors have roasted startups during their pitches, and sharing experiences on how tough it is to make decisions to invest in aquaculture at times.

-- Demi Korban

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Wednesday, Oct. 23, 1:55 pm IST

GOAL 2020 takes place in Japan

The GAA announced Tokyo, Japan, as next year's GOAL conference location.

Seafood is wildly cherished in the chosen location and marks yet another year of the event in Asia.

-- Demi Korban

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Wednesday, Oct. 23, 1:39 pm IST

How do we better market aquaculture in foodservice?

Chefs need bottom-up education to understand the importance of sustainable aquaculture in order to deliver the message to customers, however, the culture in India not being chef-driven makes it harder to relay messages to consumers, said independent chef Shaun Kenworthy.

Retailers, on the other hand, shape their sourcing strategies to accommodate what customers are calling for, US-based Sam's Club Seafood Senior Buyer Dan Underkoffler said.

However, the foodservice sector is also just as interested in quality and consistency, said Brakes Group Head of Merchandising Ben Wheeley.

"Innovation in aquaculture is about improving the quality of a product and consistency in flavor, but there will always be something that comes along and takes everything by storm," Wheeley said.

Getting customers into aquaculture has got a special story to tell, Direct Seafoods exec Laky Zervudachi said.

However, chefs do get nervous when trying new species, which is why the foodservice sector needs a lot of support from producers to drive innovation.

-- Demi Korban

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Wednesday, Oct. 23, 1:07 pm IST

Veramaris recognized as one of the best substitutes for fish oil

Dutch-based alternative feed producer Veramaris won the F3 Fish Oil Challenge for selling the largest amount of fish oil made from alternative ingredients.

CEO Karim Kurmaly was awarded with a $200,000 (€179,865) cash prize in recognition of the company's achievement in selling its omega-3 rich oil made from algae.

Kurmaly hopes to replicate what the company has done in the salmon industry in the shrimp sector in India as well.

Other contestants taking part in the challenge were Guandong Evergreen Feed Industry, Aquaculture Innovation and Qualitas Health, and Shen Zen Alpha Feed.

Collectively, the contestants produced a million kilos of oil from alternative sources, saving over 2 billion fish from use in aquafeed.

-- Demi Korban

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Wednesday, Oct. 23, 12:56 pm IST

The Humane Stunner Universal (HSU) wins Global Aquaculture Innovation Award

The technology invented by Scottish company Ace Aquatec was developed to allow fish harvesting in a more ethical manner.

The company's Humane Stunner Universal (HSU) is an in-water electric stunner to reduce fish stress by stunning any species while still in water and can process up to 200 metric tons in an hour.

Some clients already using the tool include Scottish Sea Farms, the Scottish Salmon Company, New Zealand King Salmon and Fresh.

-- Demi Korban

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Wednesday, Oct. 23, 11:15 am IST

Aquaculture needs patient capital to flourish

As aquaculture becomes more technology based, the investment return is going to decrease as a result, Investment fund Aqua-Spark Managing Partner Amy Novogratz said during a panel on blue investments.

Investors should have patience and be more flexible because the aquaculture industry actually needs a lot of patient capital, Novogratz said.

But not all panelists agreed.

"The industry does not need so much patience as steady nerves," said Mark Kahn, managing partner at Indian venture capital fund Omnivore.

In India, there is very little lending in aquaculture anyway, but there are opportunities for both private equity and venture capital, Kahn said.

"As more capital comes into the space, those opportunities will standardize and the risk will become more clear, so the interest now is getting more capital here," Kahn said.

-- Demi Korban

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Wednesday, Oct. 23, 10:40 am IST

Education will pave the way for antibiotic-free products

There are benefits to labeling products as antibiotic-free, but there are challenges as well, said UK-based Big Prawn Company Managing Director Will Rash.

"If we label as antibiotic-free, the average consumer may be confused and might not understand the message while isolated," Rash said during a panel discussion at GOAL 2019 held in Chennai, India on Oct. 21-24.

"They may not understand the message if it is isolated," he said. There are a lot of benefits to labeling, but that can't be done without proper awareness.

"Labeling with reference to antibiotics is ultimately going to happen but how do I deal with the perception and how do I create a point of difference," Rash asked.

Before moving to antibiotics declaration, the industry needs the certification basis. How big of a linkage is that going to be?

-- Demi Korban

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Wednesday, Oct. 23, 9:45 am IST

“You are more bacterial than you are human”

Two-thirds of the tonnage of antibiotics sold worldwide are used in aquaculture and agriculture, and yet despite being in the spotlight as controversial, antibiotic use is still primed to increase more than 30 percent during the next decade.

"Recognize that your actions have global consequences for human, animal and aqua health," Ramanan Laxminarayan , founder and director of the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy (CDDEP) told GOAL 2019 attendees.

He advised to look out for the space since things are switching up quickly and the world is catching up slowly and paying attention to all the consequences for using antibiotics.

The aquaculture industry, should learn from terrestrial farming, and find better ways to improve nutrition and growth of fish through using alternatives other than antibiotics and begin to phase out medicated feeds where appropriate.

The scholar referred to Norway's success with using vaccinations in the salmon farming industry as one example to controlling disease.

-- Demi Korban

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Wednesday, Oct. 23, 9:25 am IST

Bangladesh aims to more than double black tiger shrimp production

While vannamei has largely taken the place of black tiger shrimp on world markets, Bangladesh is seeking to grow its black tiger shrimp production in modernized production systems.

The government has an action plan in place to more than double annual production from about 60,000 metric tons to about 200,000 metric tons per year, said Bangladesh Shrimp & Fish Foundation Chairman Syed Mahmudul Huq.

The World Bank is already providing support through a $248 million (€223 million) fund to develop the sector through setting up more than 20 specific pathogen free black tiger hatcheries, in addition to broodstock centers and more.

Some of the challenges that have been in the way of growth include the lack of access to institutional financing, low per hectare average production, and the prevalence of diseases.

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Wednesday, Oct. 23, 8:48 am IST

After the green comes the blue revolution

"India and South Asia have a lot of space to build up a sustainable blue economy, but we need to make more out of the space, which is going to need a lot of investment to produce the kind of production systems that are going to be attractive," said World Bank Senior Fisheries Specialist Randall Brummett at this morning's session.

The World Bank initiated PROBLUE in 2018, which is a multi-donor trust fund to support healthy and productive oceans based on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 14 Life Under Water.

The World Bank along with the government has already raised $2 billion dollars, but the task will need around $20 billion.

"We are hoping to form a partnership with the private sector to make it happen," Brummett said.

The way around it is through an intensive and ambitious approach, the same way the green revolution helped India overcome a famine in the 1960's.

"We are not starting from zero, we have a solid base to grow this," Brummett said.

At the moment, about 40 percent of the 3.52 million hectares of reservoirs in India are beneficial to aquaculture, which could produce 20 kilos per hectare.

The World Bank plans to grow that to about 60 kilos per hectare, because "the government would like to get more fish on the market to boost health," Brummett said.

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Wednesday, Oct. 23, 8:35 am IST

Irish sea fisheries board recognized for area management

The Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) awarded Irish seafood body Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) with the first Best Aquaculture Practices for biosecurity area management standard.

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Tuesday, Oct. 22, 1:05 pm IST

New retail opens up new opportunities in Asia

A roundtable panel discussion brought up the topic of how to better access Asian markets by focusing not only on sustainability but also the consumers' mindset.

The move to "new retail" -- the emergence of online and e-commerce markets -- has opened up many opportunities for the international market to take part, especially in China, Alibaba's Frank Huang said.

Guolian Aquatic Products' Li Zhong Zhanjiang gave tips to succeed in the Chinese shrimp market.

The first: know the regulations and requirements, especially since seven seafood companies were recently blacklisted.

Second: Pay attention to price fluctuations and finding good partners, understanding the market and different sectors that play within it.

In China, sustainable seafood is gaining a lot of momentum, Huang said.

"Sustainability is not only a key topic for our company, but it affects each one of us at the conference," Zhanjiang said.

When it comes to consumers, all the panelists agreed that the main way to get a better grip on the market is to focus on lifestyle and producing convenient, ready-made products as well as putting efforts into marketing.

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Tuesday, Oct. 22, 12:20 pm IST

The world is changing, no sure thing is forever

Looping back to the fact that only one in 10 of the largest US companies in 1989 still makes the list in 2019, the shrimp production business is primed to grow and is now in competition with the larger animal protein sources, The Seafood Exchange’s Travis Larkin said.

The industry should no longer focus on production but on how to position itself among other seafood, such as through recipes and taste as well as nutritional value and health benefits.

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Tuesday, Oct. 22, 11:34 am IST

Post-EMS changes to come

We must solve the continuous “no name” chronic disease losses in production systems today, Thai-based CP Foods Senior VP Robins McIntosh said.

Disease costs 60 percent of the variance in shrimp farming today, while temperature regime contributes to 15 percent, stocking density to 10 percent and 15 percent to water quality.

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Tuesday, Oct. 22, 11:27 am IST

Shrimp farming is still challenged by disease

A few years ago we didn’t know how to control any of the diseases that shrimp faces, but we have moved a long way, said Loc Tran, founder and director of Vietnam’s ShrimpVet Laboratory.

One way is through introducing functional diets, prophylaxis and fermented feed to manage disease.

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Tuesday, Oct. 22, 10:49 am IST

Despite own production, China grows to largest pangasius importer

In the European Union, the booming freshwater fillet market has come and gone.

“This is an example of how not to supply a market,”said Rabobank Senior Analyst Gorjan Nikolik.

The market is not learning from past mistakes. Instead, more focus should be granted to marketing.

The African swine fever could be one of the better things that happened to freshwater white species.

The sudden increase in pork prices has driven the retail and foodservice sectors to consider different protein sources like whitefish.

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Tuesday, Oct. 22, 10:49 am IST

Many projects, only few realized

More than 700,000 recirculating aquaculture projects are being proposed, however, only 10 percent will materialize, said Rabobank Senior Analyst Gorjan Nikolik.

Those that succeed will be in regions quite physically far from traditional suppliers, he said.

The next species that will see a similar trend to salmon could be a high-value species such as shrimp.

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Tuesday, Oct. 22, 10:19 am IST

Aquaculture is more exciting than ever

A different flow of innovations is needed to face the real challenges of maintaining sustainable growth, said Ragnar Tveteras, business economist at University of Stavanger’s department of industrial economics.

Some of the trends include land-based systems and exposed aquaculture offshore production systems.

External environmental effects pose some of the biggest challenges, which is why there is a bigger role for certification schemes to play beyond just farming businesses, he said.

However, will new technologies bring economic losses to levels we have never seen before?

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Tuesday, Oct. 22, 9:57 am IST

Global shrimp production increase will bring challenges

The top four challenges to shrimp production growth in Asia include diseases, feed costs, access to disease-free broodstock and trade barriers.

This contrasts to those in the Americas, which are more slanted towards international market prices, feed costs, fuel costs and trade barriers, said University of Florida Seafood Economist James Anderson.

Despite this, global production is expected to increase by 3.5 percent per year through 2021.

But with prices at their lowest level in three decades, how will a production increase play out?

The global market should be able to absorb modest increases without further price declines, but there are disease uncertainties, and serious trade war and global economic expectations, especially for China, said Anderson.

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Tuesday, Oct. 22, 9:29 am IST

Upping seafood intake

“It is more than just keeping fish in the future, but about increasing fish in the future,” said EAT-Lancet Science Director Fabrice DeClerck.

We have reached a new environmental era, where human beings are no longer bending environmental curves, bringing forth a lot of challenges.

“Food production is fundamentally failing the environment and we need to assess what we produce and how we produce it,” DeClerck said.

One way is by increasing fish consumption by 60 percent, instead of over consuming meat, potatoes and eggs.

“The sector is at a critical junction and seafood and fish has great opportunity for better food production,” DeClerck said.

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Tuesday, Oct. 22, 9:07 am IST

Indian seafood exports to double by 2025

In the last decade, seafood production in India has more than doubled, from 670,000 metric tons in 2009 to 1.4 million metric tons in 2019, with the export value rocketing to $7 billion from just $2,000 a decade ago.

By 2025, the industry expects export value to more than double to around $15 million, by introducing new state-of-the-art technologies, adapting global standards, promoting species diversification, taking aquaculture to inland areas and promoting the industry through summits and exhibitions, said K.S Srinivas, a representative from the Indian government backed Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA).

The government is also helping the aquaculture industry by facilitating foreign direct investments to help the industry grow beyond its current potential.

More investment is needed in several areas of the country, however, including in farms, hatcheries, ponds and infrastructure such as coldstorage.

Capital injections in technology, diversifying species and better certifications are also a priority.

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Tuesday, Oct. 22, 8:47 am IST

'Our challenge is commitment'

“You have to commit because nothing is going to change unless we collectively do something together,” GAA CEO Andrew Mallison said at this morning's opening session.

Yes, BAP-certified seafood has increased exponentially, but it is still not good enough, which is why GAA says it's working on pushing producers towards better practices.

The GAA is also focused on connecting to those without access.

“Aquaculture has amazing potential to make a difference in local communities,” Mallison said.

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Monday, Oct. 21, 6:00 pm IST

Another year closer to strategic goals

As at most of its events, the several departments making up the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) present an overview of what it has accomplished in 2019 and some projections and goals for the year to come.

Last year, the association tracked five strategic goals including increasing aquaculture demand, supporting membership services, enhancing certification synergies, better representing the industry, and improving service delivery.

The department heads set some proposals for the following year in each of these goals, such as strengthening the Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) program, developing BAP program analytics, rolling out the improver pathways and leadership enhancements for the BAP program, implementing the operations team's efficiency KPI tracking and more regular stakeholder meetings.

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Monday, Oct. 21, 4:00 pm IST

Welcome to Chennai!

Global Aquaculture Alliance's GOAL is being held in India for the first time in its 20-year history. This also marks the 20th GOAL conference and the 10th time of being held in Asia.

GAA's Andrew Mallison will give the opening remarks addressing the conference "Connect. Collaborate. Commit."

The main topics over the next three days include antibiotic use in aquaculture and antimicrobial resistance in humans, social responsibility, and balancing sustainable food production with the health of humans and the planet.

More than 60 speakers are present providing insight on major improvement in shrimp production practices and disease management, salmon farming innovations, processing and marketing, investment and feed sustainability.

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